ROTHENBURGER – I’m an old man, and you’re going to kill me with COVID-19

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

I’M 76 YEARS OLD and I want to know why you’re trying to kill me.

You know who you are. You’re the one who doesn’t wear a mask because you feel embarrassed, believe it’s somehow against your human rights, or you just can’t be bothered.

You’re the one who squeezes up close to me in the lineup, or who brushes by me in the store or coffee shop without a thought to social distancing.

If you give me COVID-19, I’ll die. It might take weeks as the doctors do their best to stave off the pneumonia by drugging me into a coma and shoving a ventilator tube down my throat.

But I won’t have a chance. People my age can’t beat this disease. We have lowered immune systems and more chronic health conditions than we can count on both hands.

I’ll probably never see my loved ones again because they won’t be allowed into my hospital room. I will die alone.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8485 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – I’m an old man, and you’re going to kill me with COVID-19

  1. Bob Gamble // July 26, 2020 at 10:01 AM // Reply

    I have a year on you Mel and I’m also concerned. What puzzles me is where is the business sector in all of this this? In the USA the following major chains are requiring masks for employees and customers.

    Home Depot
    Best Buy
    Bed Bath & Beyond

    There is no doubt more but these are the ones I’m aware of. You would think the push back on masks would be greater in the USA than here.

    Like our dollar, looks like Canadians aren’t worth as much.

  2. It is unfortunate but it sounds like you really need to stay home and allow us the younger groups to continue with the burden of keeping things going, as many of us have no other choice. The kids need to be kept clothed and fed and the City wants its taxes paid. It is very unfortunate we got Covid-19, which sounds like it could’ve been prevented in the first place but we, the actively working ones were powerless on many levels against it. It is an unfortunate moment in human history for all of us and we all must do our part.

  3. Trish Keegan // July 25, 2020 at 2:28 PM // Reply

    You wrote, “Basically, though, it’s up to you and me.” I agree. We are all capable of making our own decisions to keep others safe from covid-19 infection; we have learned how to do so and don’t need rules or someone in authority to tell us what to do. The anti-maskers say no one has the right to tell them what to do, and yet they don’t have the ability to make decisions for themselves, such as wearing masks and observing physical distancing to keep others safe. Consequently, everyone suffers: anti-maskers, selfish partiers, and inconsiderate shoppers as well as their families, friends, coworkers, and associates. But we have to keep trying. Maybe the uncaring mob will eventually think for themselves and understand the wisdom of “it’s up to you and me.”

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